Innovation That Matters

Small businesses can get free energy audits from competing local students


Washington DC based non-profit Green Impact Campaign have just launched their state-wide energy saving audit competition — Power to Save.

Students often boast a perfect mix of enthusiasm, ambition and free time, and we have seen lots of initiatives aiming to give them the skills, tools and opportunities they need to put this to positive use. One such initiative is Green Impact Campaign, a non-profit based in Washington DC, which trains students to conduct free energy audits for local businesses in their area. GIC have just launched the Power to Save competition, which will see teams of students from five universities in DC state competing to see who can help more local, small businesses save on energy.

The assessment competition is a month-long community initiative, run in association with Think Local First and Nextility. Students will be trained to use GIC’s mobile platform — the Green Energy Management System. The cloud-based tool enables them to conduct free 30 minute energy audits and create custom, actionable plans for participating businesses, informing them where and how they could make savings and improve their carbon footprint. GIC have found that the average small business can make 15-20 percent energy savings through low-cost energy-efficiency upgrades — saving themselves money and creating a greener, more sustainable business. GIC volunteers have already helped small businesses make energy savings equivalent to over 2 million kWh.

All participating students receive invaluable professional experience. Winners and runners up teams will receive small cash prizes and the most impressive individual students will be offered the opportunity to interview for one of two paid internships at energy and sustainability firms in DC. Are there other skills that students could be taught to improve their local area?



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